At 6:41 a.m. Sunday Feb. 9, a southbound tractor trailer suffered a blowout on a right rear tire of a Kenworth truck.
The driver said he saw flames before he could stop in the breakdown lane. Once stopped, he attempted to extinguish the fire with an extinguisher without success.
The flames quickly spread to the loaded trailer, igniting the cargo of rolled roof felt.
The driver called 9-1-1 for assistance.
The first Fire-Rescue unit arrived about eight minutes later to find the back of the Kenworth and the loaded trailer well involved. The trailer was partially in the travel lane, but due to the amount of fire, firefighter-paramedics blocked off both southbound lanes. Sheriff’s deputies detoured traffic through the Rest Area to keep the traffic moving.
Crews deployed two handlines and requested three additional tenders for water supply. Firefighters had the bulk of the fire knocked down within 20 minutes, but the large load of rolled roof felt was difficult to extinguish. Crews unloaded half of the trailer by hand in an effort to reach the smoldering rolls contained on the pallets.
The cab received substantial damage and the majority of the load was lost. The driver was not injured.
The southbound lanes of I-95 at the incident were closed for four hours and were down to one lane as personnel from Gerald’s Wrecker Service cleaned up the site. Heavy equipment was brought in to clean up the burnt rolls which littered one travel lane and the right shoulder. Traffic was moving without obstruction shortly after noon.